A signed handwritten letter by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, dated 1 February 1959.
The letter was written in reply to an enquiry regarding the Field Marshal’s uncle, Colonel Montgomery. The letter is accompanied by an old photograph of the Colonel which was sent to Montgomery.
Interestingly, Montgomery confirms the female in the photo to be his uncle’s daughter, Daisy Montgomery, the wife of Sir Shenton Thomas, who was the Governor of Singapore when the Japanese invaded the country in 1942. Both became prisoners of the Japanese until the end of the war.
Montgomery’s reply is written on the back of the letter sent to him by Mr L.A. Ingle, who met Colonel Montgomery on a sea voyage home from East Africa in 1910.
The original envelope from Montgomery confirming his post-war position as Deputy Supreme Commander of Allied Powers Europe is included with the letter and photograph.
Montgomery of Alamein
Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, KG, GCB, DSO, PC (17 November 1887 – 24 March 1976), nicknamed “Monty” and the “Spartan General”, was a senior British Army officer who fought in both the First World War and the Second World War.
He saw action in the First World War as a junior officer of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. At Méteren, near the Belgian border at Bailleul, he was shot through the right lung by a sniper, during the First Battle of Ypres. He returned to the Western Front as a general staff officer and took part in the Battle of Arras in April/May 1917. He also took part in the Battle of Passchendaele in late 1917 before finishing the war as chief of staff of the 47th (2nd London) Division.
In the inter-war years, he commanded the 17th (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers and, later, the 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment before becoming commander of the 9th Infantry Brigade and then General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8th Infantry Division.
During the Second World War, he commanded the British Eighth Army from August 1942 in the Western Desert until the final Allied victory in Tunisia in May 1943. This command included the Second Battle of El Alamein, a turning point in the Western Desert Campaign. He subsequently commanded the British Eighth Army during the Allied invasion of Sicily and the Allied invasion of Italy. He commanded all Allied ground forces during Operation Overlord from the initial landings until after the Battle of Normandy. He then continued in command of the 21st Army Group for the rest of the campaign in North West Europe. As such he was the principal field commander for the failed airborne attempt to bridge the Rhine at Arnhem, and the Allied Rhine crossing. On 4 May 1945, he took the German surrender at Lüneburg Heath in Northern Germany.